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Mobility in the Workplace

RobertCordrayMobility in the workplace is imperative. Companies need to have physicality and technologically that makes the office fully accessible to as many individuals as possible. The culture needs to be attitudinally accessible as well. More and more companies are seeing that with planning for improved mobility, they get the best talent. Employees with disabilities have abilities, skills, and experiences that add great value to the workplace. Creating mobility in the workplace greatly enhances productivity and eliminates the barriers that can make employees feel under-appreciated.

Benefits of Workplace Mobility

  • Unified productivity between all workers.
  • Broadening the talent pool by creating environment for exceptional candidates that happen to have a disability.
  • Promoting an all-inclusive workplace culture.
  • By removing obstacles to the disabled, expand customer base to include individuals that might not have been able to access products and services.

It can also be beneficial to the brand to demonstrate an effort to include everyone in your workplace culture.

Physical Accessibility

Employers are legally bound “to provide access for an individual applicant to participate in the job application process, and for an individual employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his/her job, including access to a building, to the work site, to needed equipment, and to all facilities used by employees.” 

This accessibility refers to common areas, work spaces that are generally used by all employees. These areas include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Handicapped spaces in parking lots
  • Entrances and exits
  • Emergency exits and fire alarms
  • Conference rooms, break rooms, kitchens and other shared spaces
  • Desks and personal work spaces
  • Hallways, stairwells, and elevators
  • Restrooms
  • Cafeterias

Technological and Electronic Accessibility

This is actually a significant aspect of mobility in the workplace that many don’t consider. Adjusting one’s information and electronic technology to accommodate the disabled is not really expensive or difficult if approached carefully with affordable solutions.

Here are areas where companies are creating accessibility for all employees:

  • Intranet and Internet information and applications
  • Electronic correspondence such as email
  • Software applications and operating systems
  • Telecommunications solutions
  • All multimedia applications
  • Desktop and portable computers
  • Any self-contained, closed products like copy machines, calculators and printers
  • Online job applications

When looking at physical, technological, and electronic mobility in the workplace, it would be a good idea to partner with consultants in accessibility. There are also resources that work with IT accessibility that will focus on technological modifications.

Consultants can help assemble a long term plan for assessing, planning and implementing accessibility solutions for persons with disabilities. This will require determining the company’s immediate and forecasted needs for current and prospective employees.

Attitudinal Accessibility

The greatest detriment to mobility in the workplace is always going to be attitudes and misconceptions. Whether intentional or not, we are all capable of creating the type of barriers that leave the disabled on the outskirts. Everything from seeing these individuals as inferior to treating them too special because of their disabilities are hindrances in many workplaces.

Employers need to engage employees. There should be forums and honest discussion about disability issues. There can also be training that maximizes understanding of disabilities. These solutions help break down misconceptions and dispel harmful stereotypes. Overall, this is going to require adept leadership skills. Supervisors and managers will be instrumental in creating the culture that supports the company goal of mobility. You can again refer to specialists in the field that know how to create environments that deal with these types of workplace barriers.

Conclusion

The disabled have plenty to offer, but only if their potential is maximized in an environment with accessibility. With workplace accommodations modified for all employees, you are guaranteed to always have the right person in the right job. Whether it’s putting in a wheelchair lift or making adjustments to workstations, creating mobility in the workplace adds value to the entire company. The Mobility Resource highlighted some of the best mobility companies to work for some include, Bank of America, Walgreens and Comcast to name a few.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on April 15th, 2014 in Career | 0 comments Read related posts in , , ,

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